Council Corner – A Look at 2022
It is my great pleasure to join with our continuing Council Members Phillippa Kassover, Lorri Bodi and Semra Riddle in welcoming the three newly elected members of the Lake Forest Park City Council.
Tracy Furutani, Larry Goldman, and Jon Lebo all bring a wealth of outstanding professional and volunteer experiences and skills to the policy-making body of our city. We are very thankful for their willingness to serve our city in this capacity and know that they will make excellent contributions in different and meaningful ways to the conversations we have with our community.
I would like to take a moment to thank our former Deputy Mayor, Phillippa Kassover, who has led the City Council for the past two years with distinction, dignity, and grace. We all thank her for her substantial work on behalf of the city and for all that she has led to completion for the City of Lake Forest Park. I look forward to continuing to collaborate closely with her in her new role as Council Vice Chair.
Taking a look at the year ahead, the short State Legislative Session is underway, and we will continue to advocate with our delegation for our City’s top priorities:
Additional Resources for Fish Barrier Removal
The City has successfully replaced six culverts in the past six years on Lyon Creek and there have been observed increases in fish activity. The state culvert project at SR 104 is fully funded and will begin construction in 2023. There are still many barriers to remove and considerable habitat to be restored. The City will continue to advocate for additional funds from the Legislature to keep moving forward with this top environmental priority.
Town Center to Burke Gilman Trail Connector
Thanks to the hard work of our legislative delegation in Olympia during the last biennium, the City was awarded funds to bring the project to a 10% design level and undertake two engineering studies to determine whether an overpass or underpass was the best option. To take the project to the 30% level, we are asking for additional funds to continue this essential work.
Regional Crisis Triage Center
Lake Forest Park and our neighboring cities of Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, and Shoreline have joined together to study the feasibility for a regional crisis triage center in North King County. This facility would support the Radar program and other ways of engaging those in crisis with additional capacity for acute behavioral health interventions in our area. In conjunction with our neighbors, we are requesting the State’s support for construction and operating costs.
State Route 104 Investments
State Route 104 (or Ballinger Way) is a poorly maintained highway and carries around 26,000 vehicles per day, including more commercial freight vehicles that are very heavy. This State Route also is sorely lacking in the appropriate safety measures that could increase the use of human powered or multimodal transportation options. The City is seeking a partnership with the State to make significant investments in improvements that will enhance the safety of pedestrians and bicyclist as well as increase the use transportation alternatives.
The year ahead is a very full one for the Lake Forest Park City Council, and some major topics we will be considering include:
- Recommendations by the Planning Commission to our Accessory Dwelling (ADU) and Detached Dwelling Unit (DADU) regulations
- Tree Board recommendations for changes to our Tree Code
- Traffic calming and speed limits within our city
- The work of a new citizen-led Climate Committee
Lastly, 2022 is a very full Budget year and we will begin consideration of the City’s budget mid-summer. While the City has largely weathered the financial challenges that the pandemic has wrought these past two years, this budget is very tight, and we are going to have to make some difficult choices as a community.
I wish you all the best in this new year! Stay well and stay safe.
--Deputy Mayor Tom French